In returning to school this year, I wanted to find a system that would work well for our daughters to help make the mornings less chaotic. When our oldest was in kindergarten, I made her lunch every night for the next day. There were days I forgot or didn’t get to it until midnight or just plain dreaded doing it because she was SO particular about what she would and wouldn’t eat. Sandwiches, unfortunately, were on the “wouldn’t” list, so I had to be creative in coming up with something for her every day.
This year, I decided she could be completely in charge of her lunch, but I knew that would lead to disaster if there weren’t certain parameters for her to follow. Our second would also be going to school this year, so I needed it to be simple enough for both to follow.
And so I created the School Lunch Options menu.
I broke down their lunch into categories and listed everything I could think of that could possibly be an option under that (yes, the veggie section is sparse, but that’s because we eat more cooked veggies than raw, so I had to go with what they’d actually take for lunch). Now, in the mornings, they pick one item from each category (or maybe two from fruits/veggies) and assemble their own lunch. They have to take a snack every day, too, so they simply choose one from the fruits/veggies section and one from the carb section. Done.
Getting lunches together is now SO simple. And it’s wonderful that the girls can take responsibility for their choices. Like when my oldest came home hungry every day from school for a week, she learned she needed to actually take and eat sandwiches to help fill her up.
You’ll see SqueeZurts on my list, too. Don’t know what SqueeZurts are? They are a wonderful addition to school lunches, letting your kids take anything from applesauce to yogurt to smoothies to fruit or veggie purees to pudding in an easy to use, easy to fill, easy to clean tube. Check them out for your own little student!